A contract writer at Warner Bros., Erickson, 27, started as a reader at the studio in 1930 before collaborating on the screenplays of Silver Dollar (1932), Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), Easy to Love (1934), Sweet Music (1935). and Black Fury (1935). On August 29, 1935, Erickson's body was found by two teenaged hikers slumped beneath a eucalyptus tree off Wonder View Place, a popular lover's lane area in the hills near Hollywood Lake overlooking the Warner Bros. studio. The writer had shot himself in the base of the skull just above the neck with a 2.9mm Luger automatic found under the body. The coroner estimated that Erickson had been dead about two days. In his home at 2139 Fairfield Avenue, detectives found an opened letter from an attorney in Reno, Nevada, informing Erickson that his wife had established residence there "for the purpose of securing a divorce on grounds of mental cruelty."